Four years ago this week, Connecticut became the second state to allow same-sex couples to legally marry. Since then, four states — plus the District of Columbia — have joined Connecticut and Massachusetts in ending marriage discrimination.
In the last four years, the momentum was palpable. But nothing provided quite the same jolt to the national consciousness and sense of momentum as last week’s Election Day. Marriage equality was on the ballot in four additional states and won.
With that four-state sweep in Maine, Maryland, Washington and Minnesota, the opponents of marriage equality lost their final talking point, putting to rest the last desperate argument that victories in courts and legislatures somehow are not legitimate and that only a vote of the people counts.
via Voters boost marriage equality movement – Courant.com.
Now that voters have approved marriage equality in three new states, the savvy tourism folks in Maine, Maryland and Washington are wasting little time in rolling out their red carpets to gay and lesbian nuptial-planning couples.
And no wonder: A study released Monday by the Williams Institute at UCLA’s School of Law suggests that same-sex weddings in the states could generate more than $166 million in revenue over the next three years, with $88.5 million coming from WA, $62.5 million from MD, and $15.5 million coming from ME
via Md In MD? Becoming We In ME? Let The Gay Wedding Destination Duke-Out Begin | GayCities Blog.
Three states — Maine, Maryland and Washington — became the first to pass same-sex marriage by popular vote, and the national trend toward full implementation of same-sex marriage continues and, in fact, is likely to pick up momentum.
That is good for the country. We do not progress by relegating any segment of society to second-class status. We should celebrate with our gay and lesbian friends when they enter into committed relationships, just as we celebrate with our heterosexual friends when they get married.
More people are understanding that marriage is a civil contract with the government giving a couple a series of specific rights under the law. There is no legal reason two consenting adults should be prohibited from entering into such a contract, regardless of gender.
And the marriage of my gay friends certainly does not threaten my 33-year marriage to my wife Veronica.
This can be a religious issue, and that’s understandable.
But churches forever have decided which marriages they would bless or deny. My wife and I were married in a Baptist church, but we would not have been able to have, say, a Catholic wedding or a Mormon wedding. Just as those denominations have a right to refuse to bless marriages of same-sex partners, they also have a right to refuse to bless marriages of those who aren’t members of their congregations (many other denominations follow the same practice; these are only examples).
via Same-sex marriage wins big on Tuesday, as the march toward equality continues (Joey Kennedy) | al.com.
Americans for the first time approved gay marriage at the ballot box on Tuesday, pointing to changing attitudes on the divisive issue.
In Maine and Maryland, voters approved ballot initiatives to begin allowing same-sex unions. Those wins mark a first for a cause that previously had been rejected by voters in more than 30 states, including as recently as 2009 in Maine.
And in Minnesota, where gay marriage already isn’t allowed, voters declined to back an initiative that would have enshrined in the state’s constitution a definition of marriage as only a union between a man and a woman.
In Washington state, where voters also weighed an initiative to legalize gay marriage, the vote count was expected to stretch for days. With about half of the precincts counted nearly 52% of voters supported the idea.
In Maine, campaigners for same-sex marriage said the win marked a turning point for their cause.
via Gay Marriage Makes Gains in States – WSJ.com.
“It’s unbelievable to me that people’s lives and relationships are literally being voted on in a matter of days,” Pitt wrote in an email sent to HRC members and posted on the HRC website. “In Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington, voters will go to the polls to decide if gay and lesbian couples—our friends and neighbors—are worthy of the same protections as everyone else. But that’s the system we have and I’m not going to back down from the fight of loving and committed couples to have the ability to marry.”
via Brad Pitt Donates 100000 To Marriage Equality Campaign | E! Online.
Recently I visited Minnesota to meet folks involved in the same-sex marriage debate. I was inspired by the amount of energy that people were devoting to the cause, and to emphasizing dialogue and conversation instead of shouting and slogans.
One thing we’ve learned is that a lot of Minnesotans (and Marylanders, Washingtonians and Mainers) are sincere in supporting equal rights for gays and lesbians and simultaneously sincere in their misgivings about same-sex marriage. Yes, there are absolutely-sure people on both sides, but there are also a lot of people sincerely in the middle. If you’re one of those people, I’d like to share some of what I’ve learned as someone involved in this issue for several years now — and as someone who married my same-sex partner in New York a year ago.
First, I want to say that I get it. I know many people in the gay community who say that if you don’t support marriage equality, then you must be a bigot or a homophobe, but I know that that isn’t true. I know plenty of people who are sincerely concerned about the consequences of same-sex marriage for their communities and their values — and some of them are my friends. So this is not about bashing people who disagree. (Of course, it’s also true that there are some bigots and homophobes out there, too. But I’m not really speaking to them, because they’re not interested in what I have to say anyway!)
To those sincerely wrestling with this issue, I offer four points to consider.
Jay Michaelson: Straight Talk About Gay Marriage: 4 Points for Undecided Voters to Consider.
opponents of marriage equality still miss the point: Marriage equality is not about “holy matrimony” or the religious sanction of a “lifestyle” (Question 6 would force no faith to recognize any marriage inconsistent with its religious traditions). It’s about civil marriage licenses and civil status under the law, which confers to people basic respect and dignity.
Moreover, marriage equality doesn’t undermine Judeo-Christian values. In fact, it advances one of the two most important teachings of the Bible: treating others the way you would want to be treated yourself. How I wish that commandment had opened people’s eyes to injustice long ago.
via Marriage equality and the golden rule – The Washington Post.
On Election Day 2012, four states, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota and Washington will all have marriage equality on their ballots. Maryland, Maine and Washington would be the first states to enact marriage equality through voter referendums. In Minnesota, the issue on the ballot is an anti-gay marriage equality constitutional amendment.
Many of the “religious liberty” or “religious freedom” arguments against same-sex marriage equality depict scenarios using threatening language:
“Homosexual couples will be banging down the doors of your local church demanding to be married in your sanctuaries if this legislation passes.”
This is just not true.
What is up for vote in states is civil marriage. A civil marriage is a legal contract within a state; it is not a religious marriage.
Pastors will still be able to perform, or not, ceremonies at their will. No pastor will be forced to marry anyone. Period. It is true today and, no matter what the vote is on November 6h, it will be true then as well.
via Same-sex marriage does not obstruct your religious liberty – LGBTQ Nation.
Whether or not one is in favor of Maryland’s Question 6 that would legalize same-sex marriage, let’s be clear about one thing: The successful passage of this measure will make a lot of people incredibly happy. Happy that straight folk have decided it’s only fair to extend the same rights to their gay brethren and sistern that they themselves enjoy without ever having lifted a ring finger. Nothing in Question 6 will have any appreciable or deleterious affect on a straight person’s life in Maryland. None.
One’s genuinely held religious, moral and/or other convictions and beliefs do not trump my right to pursue an individual happiness that harms no one else. The happiness I pursue is being enabled to legally marry the man I love.
via Maryland gay marriage will make many people happy – Baltimore Sun.
On October 24th, celebrity chefs including Jose Andres and Bryan Voltaggio will converge at Chefs for Equality, an event emceed by Tim Gunn and co-hosted by the Human Rights Campaign and food columnist David Hagedorn. At the Ritz Carlton Washington DC, they’ll join Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) in an effort to preserve Maryland’s standing marriage equality law, which is up for referendum next month.
Tickets are going for $300 a head, but if you want to feel like you’re at one of those fancy Obama dinners, you can bid on one of nine auctioned chefs tables, where celebrity chef duos will be teaming up to cook you a five-course meal. Bryan “The Quiet One” Voltaggio is paired with Michel Richard of Central, and this event solves the mystery of his offering to match donations made to Marylanders for Marriage Equality. Sommeliers will also be on hand to craft wine pairings on the fly.
via Tim Gunn Celebrity Chefs Marriage Equality | The Braiser.